Traveling Light

Agoda vs Booking com vs Expedia

Which is the Hotel Room or Air Ticket cheap?

Agoda |

One of the best illustrations Ive seen for not checking bags happened at DFW Airport a short time back. It was during a heavy thunderstorm, and they had shut down ramp operations due to the lightning. I was standing at a window overlooking the ramp area wondering when, if ever, Id actually get out of Dallas. The downpour was torrential, all personal were inside, and all support equipment and vehicles had been left standing where they were when the ramp was closed. This included baggage trains, of which I could see three, comprised of several carts each, all uncovered, and all full of bags and packages getting completely soaking wet. There were also bags sitting on the ground, stopped on the loading ramp to cargo holds, and one cart was chock full of cardboard packages, all getting doused. It ended up raining hard for about 20 minutes, then lighter for about the same amount of time. It doesnt take much to imagine the condition of those bags contents, not to mention the packages once the cardboard got saturated and turned to mush. What I found interesting was that all the baggage carts had covers, but those covers were all rolled up or thrown back. So whats the deal. I mean its a rainy day, so any thinking person should know the covers should be in place and only thrown back on the cart being worked. Then it wouldve taken all of 2 seconds to throw the cover back over the bags before scurrying inside. This is just one example, but there are countless illustrations of uncaring baggage handlers doing a pitiful job. Ive watched bags falling off carts, thrown in or bounced off carts, kicked, flung, piled up and falling off loading ramps, dropped in puddles, run over, the list just goes on and on. If that doesnt show the sense in not checking luggage by only using carry-on bags, then how about theft. You may not realize it, but a lot of stuff goes missing from checked bags. Between the ticket counter and the carousel, are many opportunities for pilferage. Ive lost count of the number people Ive encountered whove had items stolen out of their bags. It should go without saying that valuables should never be checked, but often the items taken arent even all that valuable. Shoes and other pieces of clothing mysteriously disappear as well. With the new TSA rules especially, you shouldnt even bother locking bags anymore, as they will just cut the locks. Who among those checking a bag hasnt found the little note inside saying this bag was searched? Happens routinely. Also, the TSA approved locks arent failsafe either. They say that by using them, the security folks can open them with master keys, thus saving the lock, but I found it interesting reading about how one guy using such a lock found it cut and placed inside his case with the aforementioned note. The humorous part was that he was a senior executive with one of those lock manufacturing companies. Then there are the problems with lost luggage. Statistically inevitable, if you travel enough, it will happen to you. The best outcome is that it didnt get on the plane, or got on the wrong plane, and will catch up to you in 24 to 48 hours. The worse outcome is it never shows. In between are various numbers of days until it arrives. Regardless, you will stand in a line to fill out your claim, wasting yet more time with long lines and unsympathetic, uncaring airline staff. Think about it no one talks to these people except irate passengers, so theyre going to have an attitude. Sort of like anyone working a complaint line, which is probably why people take those jobs as a last resort. What happens to all that lost, unclaimed baggage? It goes to auction. Great huh? So much for all that stuff you just had to have along. At the end of the day, the potential hassles just dont justify the risk of checking luggage. Why not save yourself a lot of grief by using only a single carry-on bag and travel light? Traveling Light – Never Check Luggage

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